In the Chinese city of Wuhan, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the origin of the outbreak, Li -- then a 15-year-old high school student -- was cramming for exams. Classes were running, but students were told they couldn't go home between their afternoon and evening classes, so parents clustered outside the school gate to pass boxes of food to their children.
Li, not his real name, said his school smelled of vinegar, due to a belief that vinegar fumes would help prevent the spread of disease. CNN agreed to Li's request not to publish his name -- he's now an academic and fears any perceived criticism of the government could damage his career. For Li, SARS didn't feel like something he was going to catch himself.